Ritalin Abuse on Campus Essay

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Ritalin Abuse on Campus

Throughout most of her childhood, Jessica Miele* was viewed by her family and peers as a strange girl. Her hyperactivity, trouble in school, and drive for music left her parents confused with what to do with him after several frustrating years. At age 14, Miele was sent from her home in New York to Vermont Academy, a boarding school in the mountains. It was there that she found his gifted ability to exprses herself creativley through art and music, and formed close friendships with her roommates. It was also in Vermont where she found the “study” drug, Ritalin.

Miele, and her roommates quickly got into the habit of “bumping” or snorting Ritalin to get a quicker buzz. Some students used it to help assist them
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The Prescription Guide reference explains that “Ritalin...increases mental alertness, and decreases fatigue.”

Ritalin, is used as a medication prescribed for individuals who have an abnormally high level of activity or attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug works by increasing and balancing levels of the brain chemicals dopamine (associated with activity) and serotonin (associated with a sense of well-being). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 3 to 5 percent of the general population has the disorder.

When taken as prescribed, Ritalin is a valuable medicine. Research shows that people with ADHD do not become addicted to stimulant medications when taken at prescribed treatment dosages. However, because of Ritalin’s stimulant properties, in recent years high levels of abuse of Ritalin by people who are not prescribed, has been reported.

Ritalin is also in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) Top 10 list of most often stolen prescription drugs.Some individuals abuse it for its stimulant effects: appetite suppression, wakefulness, increased focus/attentiveness, and euphoria.

When abused, the tablets are either taken orally or crushed and snorted. Some abusers even go to great lengths of dissolving the tablets in water and injecting the mixture. Complications can arise, however, because the insoluble fillers in Ritalin can block small blood vessels.

“Some complications are due to the fact that
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